Tucked away among a number of other Newton Center storefronts, Four Spoons may not grab the attention of every passerby, but its flavorful Thai cuisine and uniqueness are hard to miss.
Past a simple beige exterior is an entirely different world. Red lanterns dot the ceiling, casting a soft glow over the families seated in brown booths. Even when the restaurant isn’t crowded with customers, the sound of running water harmonizing with a soothing flute melody creates an environment that invites conversation.
“It’s a great place to go eat great food and talk,” said Becca Petras, LSEHD ’25, who visited the place on a date.
Four Spoons offers an extensive menu of Thai dishes to suit all appetites. All meals offer vegetarian and allergen-free options and come in four heat levels ranging from mild to extra spicy.
“Even though we wanted to share real Thai culture and food, we also think it [is] important to make ourselves accessible to our customers in every way possible,” said co-owner Apriak Chuenprapa. “For us, it comes down to balance.”
The restaurant’s crispy vegetable spring rolls, an Asian culinary classic, are baked to a perfect golden color. The outer wrap crackles to reveal a balanced mix of cabbage, carrot, celery, mushrooms and string bean noodles. Four Spoons adds its own twist to the classic by serving the appetizer with a sweet and delicious plum sauce.
Four Spoons’ Pad Thai treats customers to traditional stir-fried rice noodles, chicken and shrimp, bean sprouts, chives, eggs, peanuts and paprika. It’s the chef’s special sauce, however, that sets the meal apart as being sweeter, thicker and richer than the typical pad thai.
The sizzling sound of the stir-fry precedes the dish itself, bringing bursts of flavor to every bite. Customers can choose tofu, chicken, seafood, beef or duck to accompany the assortment of vegetables. The dish is best accompanied with a side of rice ordered separately.
From the artistry in its presentation of food to waiters, it’s clear that Four Spoons care deeply about their customers.
Residents of Asian descent make up 15.2% of Newton’s population, making them the city’s second-largest demographic, according to the United States Census Bureau. The restaurant owners have a vision to embrace this growing population.
“Customers have shared how important it is for us to spread our Thai culture and represent the culture of our customers and our community, especially during the recent surge in Asian-American hatred during COVID-19,” he said. said Chuenprapa.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged Four Spoons, like many other small businesses. The restaurant quickly responded by developing a more robust delivery system that is still thriving today.
Chuenprapa said that, for the owners, the restaurant’s popularity meant more than its success as a business venture.
“It meant that, despite the negativity in the air, Newton still embraced and supported our culture,” he said.
Four Spoons is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.